TN CM Stalin promises strict action against those harassing students

The Chief Minister said the thought of 'ending one’s own life' shouldn’t ever occur to students
Last Updated 28 July 2022, 16:50 IST

Expressing concern over increasing number of suicides by students in the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Tuesday appealed to children to “stay strong in the times of adversity” and warned of “strict action” against those who indulge in any form of harassment against girls.

In his address at the golden jubilee celebrations of Guru Nanak College here, Stalin also asked educational institutions to consider imparting education as a “service” rather than a “business.” With three deaths by suicide – 12th standard students in Kallakurichi, Tiruvallur, and Cuddalore – within a fortnight weighing heavily on his mind, the Chief Minister said the thought of “ending one’s own life” shouldn’t ever occur to students.

On July 12, a class XII student allegedly jumped to death from her hostel building in Kallakurichi, while another student was found dead in the hostel dormitory attached to a government-aided school in Tiruvallur on July 25. The Kallakurichi girl had named two teachers in her suicide note and her death triggered massive protests that ended in violence on July 17 in which several vehicles were torched and the school vandalised.

“Students come to educational institutions not just to earn their degrees. You (teachers and institutes) should first give them self-confidence and courage to face the world. Students in Tamil Nadu should be bold enough to face challenges in life,” Stalin said in his speech.

He said the government won’t tolerate any incidents of sexual, mental, and physical harassment against girl students, and warned of strict action against those who indulge in such activities. “The state government won’t be silent. We will bring to book the guilty,” Stalin added.

Handing out a piece of advice to girl students, Stalin said they should “never think of ending their lives. You (girl students) have come here after facing many challenges. You should never lose heart.” He also made a fervent appeal to teachers and parents to open up with their students and children respectively to give them a patient hearing and giving them confidence.

“The job of parents never ends after giving birth to the child. Likewise, the job of teachers don’t end just with teaching. Their job, like parents, continues,” he said.

Meanwhile, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said the government has planned to provide counselling to school students. He also asked students to make use of a box provided at schools to voice their problems or complain on the 14417 or 1098 helpline numbers.

(Published 26 July 2022, 16:13 IST)

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